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  1. Simultaneous fouling and pore wetting of the membrane during membrane distillation (MD) is a major concern. In this work, an electrospun bilayer membrane for enhancing fouling and wetting resistance has been developed for treating hydraulic fracture-produced water (PW) by MD. These PWs can contain over 200,000 ppm total dissolved solids, organic compounds and surfactants. The membrane consists of an omniphobic surface that faces the permeate stream and a hydrophilic surface that faces the feed stream. The omniphobic surface was decorated by growing nanoparticles, followed by silanization to lower the surface energy. An epoxied zwitterionic polymer was grafted onto the membrane surface that faces the feed stream to form a tight antifouling hydration layer. The membrane was challenged with an aqueous NaCl solution containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), an ampholyte and crude oil. In the presence of SDS and crude oil, the membrane was stable and displayed salt rejection (>99.9%). Further, the decrease was much less than the base polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) electrospun membrane. The membranes were also challenged with actual PW. Our results highlight the importance of tuning the properties of the membrane surface that faces the feed and permeate streams in order to maximize membrane stability, flux and saltmore »rejection.« less
  2. Abstract

    The recovery and reuse of phosphorus (P) from wastewater treatment process is a critical and viable target for sustainable P utilization. This study explores a novel approach of integrating ultrafine mineral particles into hydrogel matrixes for enhancing the capacity of phosphate adsorption. Dolomite‐alginate (DA) hydrogel beads were prepared by integrating ball‐milled, ultrafine dolomite powders into calcium cross‐linked alginate hydrogel matrix. The adsorption isotherms followed a Langmuir–Freundlich adsorption model with higher specific adsorption capacity than those reported in literature. The kinetics of phosphate adsorption suggest that the adsorption is diffusion controlled. Investigation of adsorption capacity at differentpHshowed a maximum adsorption capacity in thepHrange of 7–10. Lastly, we demonstrated that theDAbeads are capable of slowly releasing most of the adsorbed phosphate, which is an important criterion for them to be an effective phosphorous fertilizer. This study, usingDAcomposite hydrogel as an example, demonstrates a promising strategy of immobilizing ultrafine mineral adsorbents into biocompatible hydrogel matrix for effective recovery of phosphorous resource from wastewater.

    Practitioner points

    Integration of dolomite and alginate hydrogel beads is demonstrated using ball milling.

    Ball milling process increases the specific adsorption capacity of dolomite on phosphorus.

    Adsorption isotherms, kinetics, andpHeffects of the dolomite–alginate beads are investigated.

    Themore »dolomite–alginate beads can be used as slow‐release phosphorus fertilizer.

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